Monday, August 29, 2011

Huabiao Film Awards - winners

Tonight at the Beijing Exhibition Center Theater, China's State Administration of Radio, Film and TV presented their 14th biennial Huabiao Film Awards (华表奖). Although established in 1957 as Ministry of Culture Excellence Film awards, they weren't given from 1958 to 1979, and were renamed "Huabiao" in 1994. Unlike many awards ceremonies, the Huabiao Awards can and often do award multiple winners in each category.

Of twenty films nominated for Outstanding Film, a whopping ten winners were named. The main multiple winners were The Founding of a Republic (建国大业/Jian guo da yie), Shen Zhou 11 (飞天/Fei Tian), and Aftershock (唐山大地震/Tang shan da di zhen). Each received three awards including Outstanding Feature Film.

The other recipients of Outstanding Feature Film were Under the Hawthorn Tree (山楂树之恋/Shan zha shu zhi lian), Yang Shan-zhou (杨善洲/Yang shan zhou), Beginning Of The Great Revival (建党伟业/Jian dang wei yie), The Seal of Love (秋之白华/Qiu zhi bai hua), Sacrifice (赵氏孤儿/Zhao shi gu er), The Piano in a Factory (钢的琴/Gang de qin), and Guo Ming Yi (郭明义/Guo ming yi).

2011 MTV Video Music Awards - winners

Tonight at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) were handed out in a ceremony that included performances by Lady Gaga, Adele, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne.

Katy Perry led with three awards including the top Video of the Year award for “Firework.”  She also won Best Collaboration for her partnership with Kanye West on “E.T.” which also won for Best Visual Effects. She had led with nine nominations coming into the night.

Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” also won three awards but they were behind-the-scenes awards for editing, art direction, and cinematography, and those were given before the main televised ceremony.

Lady Gaga also won multiple Moon Men at the ceremony. She spent the entire night dressed as her male alter ego Jo Calderone. She claimed Best Female Video and Best Video with a Message for “Born This Way.”

Sunday, August 28, 2011

2011 Festival des films du monde (Montreal World Film Festival) - awards

The awards for the 35th Festival des films du monde (Montreal World Film Festival) were handed out tonight at Place des Arts.

The top prize of the Grand Prix des Americas went to the Belgian film Hasta la Vista (Come as You Are) by Geoffrey Enthoven. The film is a light comedic look at three disabled men who take a road trip to Spain to seek out a brothel that specializes in catering to their disabilities. The film also won the Public Award as the most popular film of the festival and received a Special Mention by the Ecumenical Jury.

A Special Grand Prix of the jury was awarded to Masato Harada's Chronicle of My Mother. The Best Director award went to German filmmaker Brigitte Maria Bertele for Der Brand (The Fire).

Fatehmeh Motamed-Arya won the Best Actress award for her role in the Iranian film Here Without Me. Best Actor, however, was a tie between Borys Szyc for Rafael Lewandowski's Kret (The Mole) and Danny Huston for Eran Riklis' Playoff.

The Montreal Jewish Music Festival, Aug 28-Sept 1

The second annual Montreal Jewish Music Festival opens tonight with a performance by Hasidic New Wave & Siach Hasadeh at Sala Rossa, 4848 boul. St-Laurent. The festival was to kick off with a free launch at Parc des Amériques, but as it was an outdoor event it has been cancelled due to weather.

Other scheduled performers include Serendipity 4 featuring Theodore Bikel, Pitom & Andre Daneau, the Sway Machinery, Christian Dawid’s Klezmer Contra Dance, the Shaar Hashomayim Choir, Nekouda and the Andy Statman Trio.

The festival runs until Thursday at various venues.

Friday, August 26, 2011

CMPA's $10,000 Feature Film Prize - shortlist of 5 producers

Award-winning Canadian producer Denise Robert today announced the shortlist for the 6th Annual Canadian Media Production Association’s (CMPA) Feature Film Producer's Award.  Robert is Chair of the national jury, and last year’s recipient. The winner receives a cash prize of $10,000 at a special reception to mark the opening of the 36th Toronto International Film Festival® on September 8th.

The award was founded in partnership with the Festival in 2006.  It recognizes the vision and entrepreneurship of an outstanding Canadian producer whose body of work demonstrates commitment and passion for the profession.

"All of these producers have dedicated their careers to the creation of feature films,” says Denise Robert. “It requires tenacity and courage to complete these kinds of projects and bring them to the big screen. It was a very difficult decision because every applicant was worthy of a nomination.”

FREE Songwriting Workshops Across Canada, Sept 7-Oct 2

Astral Radio presents the Radio Star New Songwriters Workshop Tour, which provides educational sessions at all of the 11 workshops for new songwriters to be held across Canada from Sept. 7 through Oct. 2, 2011.

Each workshop will consist of four parts. Part 1 examines What's in a Song; Part 2 is Music Publishing 101; Part 3 looks at Songwriting Revenue Streams; and Part 4 is The Music Meeting (Song Review) in which participants can play their demos for panelists to get instant feedback.

The workshops are co-sponsored by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA), and the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC).

These workshops are free to attend, but everyone wishing to attend must pre-register for the event at Registration is now open.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

3rd Montreal Burlesque Festival, August 25-28

Welcome to the Montreal Burlesque Festival

Bonjour and welcome to the 3rd edition of our prestigious Burlesque Festival! This year we are presenting 3 nights of pure entertainment, at Club Soda with seating for everyone, Cabaret formula (meaning we have tables too) where you can sip on Champagne & Cocktails while you enjoy the shows! See picture HERE.

Visit our schedule for details about the weekend, we offer workshops & classes that are open to the public and you can reserve your spot Here.

From the 25th to the 27th of August 2011, the 3rd edition of the Montreal Burlesque Festival will take up residence at Club Soda (1225 St Laurent, Montreal), and bring back those nights of naughty glamour for which the city was once renowned around the world. The titillating event, hosted by Benjamin Marquis, will present performances by dozens of international burlesque stars, musicians and artists, including such evocative names as Coco Lectric, Harvest Moon, Amber Ray, Loulou Duchess de Rière, Miss Sugarpuss, Bonbon Bombay, Michelle L'amour and Scarlett James, along with legendary guest icons April March, Satan's Angel and Tiffany Carter.

Call for submissions: ReelWorld's 2011 Capturing Diversity Contest

Diversity Challenge

ReelWorld Film Festival and Pierre Laurent Timepieces present the 2011 Capturing Diversity Contest

ReelWorld is excited to invite all aspiring filmmakers and film enthusiasts to get in on the action by creating your own mobile films that capture the spirit of ReelWorld's mission to "celebrate diversity and excellence in film and video".


Call for submissions: imagineNATIVE Documentary and Drama TV Pitch

2011 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

Exclusive Professional Training & Pitch Session

This is your chance to be part of an intensive pitch training opportunity at this year's imagineNATIVE!

Do you have a great idea for a pilot episode of a series drama (30 or 60 min), OR a feature, short or series documentary? Enter our competitions to pitch your idea to a panel of commissioning editors and acquisitions executives from the major Canadian broadcasters - who will provide valuable feedback and development advice. You will also have a chance to win imagineNATIVE's Documentary Pitch or Drama TV Pitch prizes to help your ideas become a reality.

FOUR documentary pitch contestants & FOUR drama TV pitch contestants will be selected by imagineNATIVE's Programming Committee to receive a free, six-hour intensive "How to Pitch" workshop with a broadcasting industry professional. This workshop will provide invaluable insight and instruction on the pitching process and advice on improving individual pitch ideas. The intensive workshop will take place on Wednesday, October 19th at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 Kind St. W. in downtown Toronto.

Planet in Focus Film Festival announces opening, closing films


Opening and Closing Night to take place at TIFF Bell Lightbox

TORONTO, August 24, 2011 — The 12th Annual Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival, Canada's largest and longest running environmental film festival, kicks off with a big start and finish with this year’s Opening and Closing Night Galas: REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR, narrated by Tim Robbins, and THE WHALE, narrated by Ryan Reynolds.  Planet in Focus runs from October 12–16, 2011 across Toronto, and features five days of galas, film screenings, workshops and more!  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2011 Nordisk Råds Filmpris (Nordic Council Film Prize) - nominees

Five outstanding Nordic films are nominated for the coveted Nordic Council Film Prize 2011.

Five outstanding and very different Nordic films are candidates this year for the coveted NORDIC COUNCIL FILM PRIZE. Among the nominated directors are Pernilla August, Árni Ólafur Ásgeirsson, Joachim Trier, Nikolaj Arcel and Zaida Bergroth. They are all in a tough competition with outstanding films, one from each of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

To be nominated for the prize, worth DKK 350.000, the films must be embedded to a significant degree in Nordic culture, must be of high artistic quality, stand out in terms of artistic originality, and combine and refine the many elements of film in a convincing and integrated manner.

Call for Submissions: 24-Hour Playwriting Contest, Pat the Dog Playwright Centre

2011 24-Hour Playwriting Contest

Stock up on coffee and dust off your lucky mug. Pat the Dog Playwright Centre is thrilled to announce we are hosting our third annual 24-hour playwriting contest. This means 30 adrenaline-pumped writers from across Ontario will be hitting the keyboards from 4:00 PM on Friday, September 30, 2011 to 4:00 PM Saturday, October 1, 2010.

All contestants write off-site, so you can write at home, in a coffee shop, on a bus… the location is up to you. There’s no entry fee and no restriction on final script length. All you have to do is write an original play using three secret words — in 24 hours. How easy it that?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Call for submissions: The Green Pitch Competition

Green Pitch Submission Now Open

The Green Pitch: Perfecting the Art of the Pitch for Environmental Filmmaking

$5500 Cash/Service Funding Available

Submission Deadline: Friday, September 23 at 5:00 pm*

Welcome to the Planet in Focus Green Pitch, an opportunity to pitch your idea to the people with the power to give your project the green light. With broadcasters, producers and established filmmakers on board to lend their insight, this pitch session will give participants the opportunity to test their green story ideas in front of creative professionals.  Finalists will be coached before the festival by Producer and former broadcast executive PAUL DE SILVA.

TIFF 2011 guest list and fact sheet


Toronto – The 36th Toronto International Film Festival® welcomes hundreds of guests this year. Filmmakers expected to present their world premieres in Toronto include: Davis Guggenheim, Francis Ford Coppola, Alexander Payne, Agnieszka Holland, Guy Maddin, Luc Besson, Bill Duke, Oren Moverman, Malgoska Szumowska, Bennett Miller, Darrell Roodt, Sarah Polley, Jessica Yu, Michael Winterbottom and Werner Herzog.

Actors expected to attend include Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Clive Owen, Gerard Butler, Jeon Do-Yeon, Jon Hamm, Shahid Kapoor, Michael Fassbender, Michelle Yeoh, Freida Pinto, Glenn Close, Matthew Goode, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, Ryan Gosling, Salma Hayek, Viggo Mortensen and Woody Harrelson. Musicians include: U2, Pearl Jam and Neil Young.

The Festival also welcomes thousands of producers and other industry professionals bringing films to us.

Free programming at TIFF 2011


The 36th Toronto International Film Festival today announced its free programming which includes screenings of the World Premiere of Mark Cousins’ epic 15-hour documentary The Story of Film: An Odyssey; Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb’s This is Not a Film a day-in-the-life portrait of filmmaker Jafar Panahi, under house arrest in Iran; and the screening of the winner of the 2011 Cadillac People’s Choice Award. Also open to audiences free of charge is a City to City Panel of filmmakers and programmers exploring the emerging film scene in Buenos Aires as well as a special discussion to accompany the Future Projections installation James Franco and Gus Van Sant: Memories of Idaho.

“The free Festival programming we are presenting honours the Festival’s tradition of celebrating filmmakers and film. Among them the important work of Cousins, Panahi and Mirtahmasb will offer audiences a window into the history and current situation of artists and cinema around the world,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO, TIFF. “We are happy to be able to offer this access to special screenings and discussions to Festival audiences.”

TIFF finalizes programming with Masters, Discovery, Mavericks


Toronto – The 36th Toronto International Film Festival® is pleased to present today the selection of the 13 films premiering as part of the Masters programme. Today’s announcement offers Toronto audiences some of the most compelling cinematic works from influential filmmakers around the globe.

Almayer's Folly (La Folie Almayer) Chantal Akerman, Belgium/France North American Premiere
Somewhere in South-East Asia, in a little lost village on a wide and turbulent river, a European man clings to his pipe dreams out of love for his daughter. Working freely from Joseph Conrad's debut novel, Akerman tells the story of a trader in 1950s Malaysia whose dreams of a Western life for his Malay daughter slowly lead to destruction. A quest for the absolute, a story of passion and madness.

Monday, August 22, 2011

2011 Hugo Awards - winners

The 2011 Hugo Awards for science fiction were handed out on Saturday evening, August 20, at the Peppermill Hotel and Casino in Reno, Nevada. Jay Lake and Ken Scholes hosted the event along with additional presenters such as Renovation Guests of Honor Tim Powers, Boris Vallejo and Ellen Asher, as well as genre writers George R.R. Martin and Robert Silverberg.

The winner for Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) was Christopher Nolan's Inception, handily beating runner-up How to Train Your Dragon and the other nominees Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Toy Story 3. The Short Form Presentation winner was Doctor Who: “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang”.

The unique 2011 Hugo trophy base design was revealed at the ceremony by designer and Hugo base design contest winner Marina Gelineau.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Call for Submissions: the 8 fest, Small-Gauge Film Festival


the 8 fest

2012 Festival


The 8 fest seeks your 8mm, Super-8, 9.5mm or other small gauge film projects (such as loops and installations) for our 2011 installment next January.

Films can be:
  1. Experimental, animated, personal, handmade.
  2. Diary & essay films, documentaries.
  3. Live performance and music mixed with film.
  4. Films from everyday culture – historical footage, home movies.

Call for Submissions: Rhubarb 2012 special projects

Call for Submissions: Rhubarb 2012 Special Project Calls, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre

MOBILE WORKS DEADLINE: 5PM Friday September 2, 2011
Building on the success of last year’s Mobile Works series, which reached over 10,000+ viewers, Rhubarb 2012 invites a new round of proposals for performances that begin elsewhere in the city and converge at Buddies (12 Alexander Street, Toronto).  Performance interventions, audio led experiences, performances that intersect public and private space, performances on public transit, flash mobs, etc. that eventually end at Buddies are encouraged.  Participatory projects and online performances that are developed in the lead up to Rhubarb and culminate in another form of presentation at Buddies are also welcome. 

The proposal should take into consideration not only the festival audiences but also the general public, those unsuspecting and accidental audiences who may stumble upon or intersect with the work.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Call for submissions: National Screen Institute's NSI Features First

The National Screen Institute — Canada (NSI) has put out a call for submissions for its NSI Features First program.

Features First is NSI's training program for filmmakers who are preparing to make their first or second feature film. The curriculum includes script and story development, market research, legal requirements, pitching, financing, distribution and marketing and sales training.

Applicants must submit a feature film script. Applicants must also have an team which consists of a writer, director and producer. The writer can double as director or producer but the director cannot also be the producer. The applicants need not be from the same province.

Although NSI is based in Winnipeg, much of the training will take place in the applicants' home province. It is also a part-time training program that allows for you to continue working full-time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

TIFF introduces TIFF Nexus for gaming and interactive media

New series unites the world of film, games and interactive media, enhancing TIFF’s commitment to the art of the moving image. Video introduction available at

Toronto – TIFF announced today an exciting new initiative designed to equip a new generation of Ontario storytellers with the network, skills and partners that they need to succeed in a rapidly evolving and growing digital media landscape. Launching this fall, TIFF Nexus will support Canada’s film, game, digital and new media communities as well as foster integrations between academics, industry members and enthusiasts. Complementing such other TIFF programmes as Future Projections, Talent Lab and the Student Film Showcase that are dedicated to supporting filmmakers and visual artists, TIFF Nexus will encourage relationships between the existing and emerging sectors of film, gaming and interactive media and utilize the cinema, educational and exhibition spaces of TIFF Bell Lightbox as an opportune home for its activities.

TIFF 2011 Industry programming announced


Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival®’s Industry Programmes continue to develop and support the film industry, both at home and around the world, through innovative networking and career-development initiatives. The 2011 TIFF Industry programming lineup presents diverse sessions that explore the worlds of gaming, international co-production, costume design, soundtracks and music scoring, and provides a forum for provocative conversations about complex issues including funding, VOD distribution models, and the burgeoning Chinese film industry. The Festival welcomes industry professionals from around the world including filmmakers Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo II), Morgan Spurlock (Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan's Hope), Nick Broomfield (Sarah Palin – You Betcha!), Michael Dowse (Goon); producer Ted Hope (Dark Horse, Martha Marcy May Marlene); Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh; and musician Jason Collett, and presents a special look at Fortissimo Films’ storied and successful 20-year history with chairman Michael Werner.

Returning programmes include Moguls, Meet With…, Focus On…, Master Class and Doc Conference. For more information on the industry programming line-up at this year’s Festival, running September 8 to 15, please visit Delegates can stay up to the minute with industry announcements on the TIFF Industry Twitter feed @tiff_industry.  

Festival des Films du Monde (Montreal World Film Festival), Aug 18-28

For the next eleven days, the 35th Festival des Films du Monde (Montreal World Film Festival) takes place in the heart of Montreal. This year's festival takes place a week earlier than previous years, and will not go into the Labour Day weekend.

The opening gala film is slated to be local Quebec filmmaker Andre Forcier's Coteau Rouge. The film stars Céline Bonnier, Roy Dupuis and Paolo Noël, and chronicles an odd tale of a dodgy proprety developer, an ex-boxer and a grandmother. The film is set on the south-shore of Montreal.

Complete programming for Festival des Films du Monde was announced earlier this month.

In addition to screening 383 films from more than 70 countries, the festival will pay tribute to some French legends who will be in attendance, including actress Catherine Deneuve and filmmakers Claude Lelouch and Bertrand Tavernier. Tavernier will be on hand to introduce a series of his favourite films from France and elsewhere.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spoilers DO spoil, contrary to what reports say

You can't believe everything you read.

Last week UC San Diego reported a study done by Nicholas Christenfeld and Jonathan Leavitt on how much knowing the ending of a story in advance could affect someone's enjoyment. A few dozen students were given 12 short stories to read in different categories. Some had the story spoiled for them and knew the ending in advance, others didn't. Contrary to expectation, they found that readers who were given spoilers generally enjoyed the story more, not less.

Fine. The study showed that a small number of students got more enjoyment out of short stories when they were given spoilers. But then in reporting the findings, everyone extrapolated completely unfounded conclusions based on this single study. Wired posted an article entitled Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything. They included a graphic (above) with a joking spoiler "Dumbledore does on page 596 (I just saved you 4 hours and $30).

Others followed suit. Headlines popped up such as "Spoilers don't ruin stories or films: study"; "Story 'Spoilers' May Boost Enjoyment"; "Stories Are Not Spoiled by 'Spoilers'"; "Reading Spoilers About Book, Film Or TV Series May Enhance Your Viewing" and "Spoilers don't ruin movies after all."

aluCine annual Summer Party and Silent Auction

aluCine Toronto Latin Film + Media Arts Festival presents its annual Summer Party and First-ever Silent Auction

Toronto, ON…aluCine Toronto Latin Film + Media Arts Festival is pleased to announce its annual Summer Party and first-ever Silent Auction, a fundraising event with great prizes and entertainment. Proceeds will go towards the funding of this years festival. The event will take place Wednesday, August 17 starting at 8pm at Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. West, Toronto. The cost is $10 at the door.

Warming up for the 12th edition of aluCine in November, the party will feature musical performances by Mulambo Groove, DJ’s El Man and Jose Antonio Matamoros Sanin from Dos Mundos Radio and surprise guest artists who will heat up the night with live drumming.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

11th annual World Soundtrack Awards - nominees

The World Sountrack Academy announced the nominees for its 11th annual World Soundtrack Awards.

Alexandre Desplat, Hans Zimmer and Clint Mansell led the way with nominations for both Film Composer of the Year and Best Original Film Score of the Year (for The King's Speech, Inception and Black Swan respectively). Alexandre Desplat was recognized for his eight (!) scores this past year which also included Tamara Drewe, The Tree of Life and the Harry Potter finales.

Hans Zimmer was not far behind with his seven films including Megamind, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Kung Fu Panda 2.

The other nominees for Film Composer of the Year were John Powell and Patrick Doyle, while the other nominees for Best Original Film Score of the Year were the Oscar-winning score for The Social Network by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and True Grit by Carter Burwell.

2011 Ophir Awards - nominees

The Israeli Film and Television Academy (האקדמיה הישראלית לקולנוע וטלוויזיה) has announced the nominees for their 22nd Ophir Awards (פרס אופיר). The awards are named after actor, comedian and mime Shaike Ophir.

Joseph Cedar's Footnote (הערת שוליים) led the pack with 13 nominations. Its nominations include Best Feature Film, Director and Actor (Shlomo Bar Aba). Footnote won Best Screenplay at Cannes. It will be playing at the upcoming 36th Toronto International Film Festival.

Next with eleven nominations each including Best Feature Film and Best Director were My Lovely Sister (אחותי היפה) and Restoration (בוקר טוב אדון פידלמ). Restoration was winner of Best Screenplay at Sundance and Grand Prix at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. The other Best Feature nominees were Off-White Lies (אורחים לרגע) and Nadav Lapid’s Policeman (השוטר), each with seven nominations total. Policeman recently took the special jury prize for second best film at the Locarno Film Festival.

A Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to producer Yitzhak Shani who has produced, managed, invested, advised and distributed films and filmmakers for fifty years.

TIFF announces Visions, CWC, Wavelengths, Special Presentations and more


Toronto – The 36th Toronto International Film Festival® announces a strong line-up of 18 films in this year's Visions programme. Works presented under the Visions banner are films from around the world by filmmakers who challenge audiences‟ notions of mainstream cinema.

ALPS Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece/France North American Premiere
A nurse, a paramedic, a gymnast, and her coach have formed a secret, illegal company. The service they provide is to act as standins for the recently deceased, for the benefit of grieving relatives and friends. The company is called “ALPS” and the ALPS members, taking inspiration from the life of the deceased, adopt their behaviours and habits, memorizing favourite songs, actors, foods, familiar expressions. Although the members of ALPS operate under a disciplined regime demanded by the paramedic, their leader, the nurse doesn't.

Monday, August 15, 2011

10th Directors Guild of Canada Awards - nominees

2011 Directors Guild of Canada Awards Nominees Announced

TORONTO, Aug. 15, 2011 - The DGC congratulates the 2011 nominees announced today in Toronto. Selected from close to 175 submissions, the 76 nominees in 19 categories represent a cross section of the industry's outstanding talent in film and television.

The Awards will be presented at the annual Gala on Saturday, October 29, 2011 at the prestigious Royal York Hotel. Hosted by multi-talented radio-host, musician and writer Jian Ghomeshi, the 2011 DGC Awards marks the 10th anniversary of the Awards.

"I am proud of the nominees and what their collective body of work brings to this country's industry as well as to the Guild as a whole," stated Sturla Gunnarsson, President, DGC. "It is an honour to be a part of this organization and to lead the celebration of the best work created by DGC members last year."

Free screening: The Last Explorer

indigiFLIX presents 'The Last Explorer' this Wednesday
Come to indigiFLIX’s FREE Screening of The Last Explorer at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and Win Tickets to Buffy Sainte-Marie

The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival invites you to have a sneak peak of our new festival venue, the TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St. W), and watch a FREE presentation of Neil Diamond’s The Last Explorer. As this year’s final installment of imagineNATIVE’s popular indigiFLIX screening series, The Last Explorer will screen August 17 at 7PM; Neil Diamond (who also directed Reel Injun) will join us via Skype for a Q&A following the screening of his film – this event is FREE.

That’s not all. We’ll be giving away FREE tickets to see Buffy Sainte-Marie in concert at imagineNATIVE in October! This special screening celebrates imagineNATIVE’s move to its new festival venue and the successful run of its first indigiFLIX screening series. Come by the TIFF Bell Lightbox on August 17 to meet the 2011 imagineNATIVE team and win other prizes including a pass to the 2011 festival or a DVD box set. Prize draws, including the Buffy tickets, will be made at the screening.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

26th Annual Imagen Awards - winners [UPDATED]

Last night, the 26th Imagen Awards took place at the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. Spanish for “image,” they are the industry awards for positive portrayals of Latinos and Latino cultures in entertainment. The evening was hosted by the charismatic actress Maria Canals Barrera, who wore an elegant red dress.

Over 500 people attended the event, including representatives of the entertainment industry and the Latino community, such as Edward James Olmos, Kenny Ortega, Esai Morales, Mark Ballas, Cote de Pablo, Eva La Rue, Lupe Ontiveros, Victoria Justice and Alexa Vega, among others.  Also in attendance were U.S. Secretary of Labor and former local congresswoman, Hilda L. Solis, and PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger.

The film section was led by Gun Hill Road which won for Best Feature Film and for Best Actor (Esai Morales). Michelle Rodriguez won Best Actress for her work in Tropico de Sangre (Rains of Injustice).

Law & Order: Los Angeles won for Best Primetime Television Program. Freddy Rodriguez received Best Actor for CHAOS. Martha Higareda was named Best Actress for Lies in Plain Sight.

10th Matsuri Japon Festival

The 10th edition of the traditional Japanese festival. Enjoy the culture and activities of Japan.  Martial arts demonstrations, okonomiyaki and other delicious foods, games for kids, taiko drum concerts, kimono rentals, Japanese arts and crafts and many other activities. Admission is free !

The Matsuri Japon Festival takes place on Saturday, August 13th, from noon to 9:30PM, at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre of Montreal, 8155 Rousselot, Montreal, H2E 1Z7, rain or shine.

Matsuri Japon is an event presented in the spirit of a traditional Japanese festival, as a means to develop greater awareness of Japanese culture among Montreal citizens and foreign visitors.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Le Festival du Film Chinois de Montreal (Montreal Chinese Film Festival), August 12-16

This evening is the opening night for Le Festival du Film Chinois de Montreal (Montreal Chinese Film Festival) which takes place at Cinéma du Parc, 3575 Avenue du Parc.

The opening night film is Chen Kaige’s Forever Enthralled, a biopic about Peking opera performer Mei Lanfang. It shares some similarity to his earlier Farewell My Concubine in that it is in the opera world and deals with gender issues.

The other six film screened will be Peng Chen’s Walking to School, Hu Mei’s Confucius, Chen Deming’s The Dreams of Jinsha, Xu Jinglei’s Go, Lala Go!, Chen Kuo-fu and Gao Qunshu’s The Message, and finally Teddy Chen’s Bodyguards and Assassins.

Call for Submissions: 2011 Samuel French Canadian Playwrights Contest


Another competition that we sponsor is open to all playwrights with Canadian citizenship. Samuel French originally established the Canadian Playwrights Contest to encourage awareness and growth of Canadian playwriting. The competition is open to all Canadian playwrights regardless of geographic location. Writers are invited to submit their best full-length stage plays that are original and have never been published. The winning play will receive publication and representation from Samuel French.

Completed applications and manuscripts should be sent to:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

TIFF announces participants for Talent Lab, Pitch This!, Producers Lab, Rising Stars


Toronto − The 36th Toronto International Film Festival® reinforces its commitment to emerging filmmakers and the film community with today’s announcement of participants in returning industry programmes – Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS!, Talent Lab and Producers Lab Toronto. Now in its eighth year, Talent Lab is an intensive four-day artistic development programme that provides emerging talent with unparalleled opportunity to learn from internationally acclaimed filmmakers and artists – including this year’s Governors Bingham Ray and Jason Reitman. Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! returns for its twelfth year with a tough competition that offers six teams six minutes each to pitch their dramatic or documentary feature film idea to a jury and live audience of over 200 industry professionals. Twelve European and 12 Canadian producers come together for Producers Lab Toronto – created in partnership with European Film Promotion (EFP), in collaboration with the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) – an initiative aimed to facilitate and increase international co-productions between European and Canadian producers.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

imagineNATIVE announces opening and closing films

imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival October 19-23
Presenting Sponsor Bell Media

2011 Opening and Closing Night Films Announced

ON THE ICE  directed by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean CANADIAN PREMIERE
WAPOS BAY: Long Goodbyes directed by Dennis Jackson WORLD PREMIERE

The 2011 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is proud to announce this year’s Opening and Closing Night Gala Presentations.

Toronto Bicycle Film Festival, Aug 10-14

The 11th Toronto Bicycle Film Festival kicks off tonight with an art show and panel discussion at the Gladstone Hotel. The Back Breaks Art Show begins at 6pm and features work by Gillian Goerz, Jonathan Robert, InkYung Choi, Linda Verakamp, Kat Verhoeven, Janet Bike Girl and The Deadly Nightshades. The panel discussion moderated by Yvonne Bambrick will be on the subject "Building Bridges: How to tell good stories and win over non-cyclists at a dinner party.” Panelists are James Schwartz, Tammy Thorne, Dave Meslin and Shamez Amlani.

Then the official kickoff party takes place at the Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen St. West) tomorrow night starting at 8pm. The featured acts will be Christien Summers, Spin - Evalyn Parry, Octoberman and the Meligrove Band.

Screenings take place on Friday at 7pm and 9pm and Saturday at 5pm, 7pm and 9pm at the Royal Cinema at 608 College. Each night of screenings will be followed by an after-party. Friday's party takes place at the Bike Pirates DIY Space , 1292 Bloor St. West at Lansdowne. Saturday night's party will be held at the Hard Luck Bar, 812 Dundas Street West at Palmerston.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Director Christopher Nolan selects CFC to receive $100,000 donation


Donation given by WIND Mobile as part of

“Best Conversation Ever” competition

Toronto, August 9, 2011 – The CFC (Canadian Film Centre) will receive a $100,000 charitable donation from WIND Mobile after Academy-Award® nominee Christopher Nolan (THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, INCEPTION) named CFC the charity of his choice as part of his participation in WIND Mobile’s “Best Conversation Ever” competition. The Best Conversation Ever offered Canadians the chance to speak to anyone in the world. By submitting the most creative entry of the competition, inspired by Nolan's own work, and rallying hundreds of votes, UBC student and aspiring filmmaker Ian Holliday's entry won him the conversation of his dreams.

Holliday is the third of five Canadians to win their 'best conversation ever' through the WIND Mobile competition. He and his classmates, Yuri Cabrera and David Bolen, are film students at the University of British Columbia and all respect and admire Christopher Nolan as a filmmaker. Nolan, who is currently filming his latest film, The Dark Knight Rises, took time out of his hectic schedule to talk to Holliday this morning.

TIFF 2011: Canadian film awards and juries; Canadian Initiatives


Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival® continues to recognize and support achievements in Canada’s filmmaking industry and is delighted to welcome back major prizes that recognize excellence in feature film, short film and the work of first-time feature filmmakers.

All three awards are selected by a jury of film professionals. The feature film jury consists of actor Liane Balaban (One Week, Up In Cottage Country); director Sturla Gunnarsson (Force of Nature); journalist/producer Denis Séguin (How to Start Your Own Country); and producer Gabriella Martinelli (Capri Films).

The short film jury members are Sundance programmer John Korn; filmmaker and artist Srinivas Krishna (My Name is Raj installation); and Hot Docs Programming Manager Karina Rotenstein.

Canadian films announced for TIFF 2011


Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival® boasts a strong lineup of Canadian features including new works by acclaimed Canadian filmmakers Carl Bessai, Mike Clattenburg, Michael Dowse, Philippe Falardeau, Guy Maddin, Bruce McDonald, Léa Pool, Jean-Marc Vallée and Ingrid Veninger, and onscreen appearances by Jay Baruchel, Camilla Belle, Anupam Kher, Akshay Kumar, Mia Kirshner, Rob Lowe, Vanessa Paradis, Jason Patric, Alison Pill, Russell Peters, Isabella Rossellini, Liev Schreiber, Sean William Scott, Scott Speedman and Nick Stahl.

“This year saw many Canadian filmmakers address a wide range of pressing social issues including the dangers of progress; the possibility of privacy and identity in a hi-tech, increasingly alienated world; teenage gambling; the difficulties of maintaining a traditional rural life; life during and after wartime (past and present); lovelorn gangsters and, of course, vampires in an all-girls school,” says Steve Gravestock, Associate Director, Canadian Programming, TIFF. “This year's Canadian slate boasts veteran directors working at their peak and numerous homegrown stars returning to work in Canada, not only in front of the screen but behind it as well. Especially encouraging is the emergence of new voices from across the country.”

Monday, August 8, 2011

Red State: An Evening with Kevin Smith



Phase 4 Films is pleased to announce Red State: An Evening with Kevin Smith, a five city exclusive engagement featuring a screening of the controversial thriller RED STATE, followed by an extensive “Q&A” with the acclaimed indie director.  Smith will bring his no-holds-barred tales about filmmaking, pop culture and his life to Canadian audiences with stops in Montreal on August 14 at Theater Hall Concordia, Toronto on August 15 at Toronto Underground, Edmonton on August 16 at The Garneau, Calgary on August 17 at The Uptown, and Vancouver on August 18 at The Vogue.

"I wear my love for Canada on the sleeve of my hockey sweater, so ever since we started planning the RED STATE USA TOUR, I've been ready to do a RED PROVINCE TOUR across the grand cultural mosaic that is the Great White North.  Now, thanks to Phase 4, I finally get to scare the shit out of a buncha Canucks with the weird little Tarantino/Coen Brothers homage flick that is RED STATE. This is not a comedy like CLERKS; this is a horror movie. Like JERSEY GIRL."

Teen Choice Awards 2011 - winners

Last night, the 13th Teen Choice Awards were handed out at Universal City's Gibson Amphitheatre. Kaley Cuoco hosted the event which aired live on Fox.

Yet again, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse was the dominant winner even though it had been nominated alongside The Twilight Saga: New Moon at last summer's Teen Choice Awards and already won several awards. This time, it picked up prizes for Choice Movie Actor: Sci Fi/Fantasy (Taylor Lautner), Choice Movie Actor: Drama (Robert Pattinson), Choice Movie: Scene Stealer Male (Kellan Lutz) and Choice Movie: Scene Stealer Female (Ashley Greene).

The Harry Potter franchise picked up more awards however for both Parts 1 and 2 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Its six wins included Choice Movie: Sci-Fi/Fantasy for Part 1, and Choice Movie of the Summer for Part 2.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Free screening: Tension vs. Meditation - Contemporary Japanese Animation

Tension vs. Meditation: Contemporary Japanese Animation

Varfix by Kotaro Tanaka

As part of his summer 2011 residency at LIFT Tomonari Nishikawa will present a program of contemporary Japanese animation curated for this residency.

The screening showcases a body of contemporary short videos by Japanese artists, ranging from a timelapse video to a drawing animation, and a personal documentary to an abstract video.

What's Classical? at Harbourfront, August 5-7

Harbourfront, Toronto - August 5 to 7, 2011

Toronto - Guest Artistic Director Andrew Burashko of the Art of Time Ensemble with the staff of Harbourfront Centre have programmed a festival that goes well beyond the normal concepts of classical music to create an event that is unlike any other. Exploring influences from popular music and traditions from Western Europe to Latin America, from the Middle East to the Far East, the festival re-defines how we see classical music.

Here are some of the highlights:

Call for submissions: Girls Just Wanna Have Phones at FNC

To celebrate the Festival du nouveau cinéma's 40th anniversary, Quebec City's Vidéo Femmes invites women filmmakers from around the world to create short films from smart phones based on the theme “40”. The best works will be screened at the Festival in October.

Films must draw upon the theme of "40," be directed by a woman and be shot on a cell phone. The final film should be no more than two minutes long.

Vidéo Femmes will accept submission forms any time before September 20, with instructions for delivery to follow. The 40th Festival du nouveau cinéma runs October 12-23 in Montreal.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

21st Annual SummerWorks Theatre Festival, August 4-14

The 21st Annual SummerWorks Theatre Festival starts today in Toronto.

This year's festival became embroiled in a political controversy that began last year when the  Prime Minister's Office wrongly accused the SummerWorks play Homegrown of endorsing terrorism. No one in the PMO had seen the play and no Conservatives later took advantage of the offer to see it courtesy of the festival. When the SummerWorks Festival had all of its 2011 federal funding cut without any reason given just a few weeks ago, many in the media reasonably concluded that it was a politically motivated gesture.

However, the artistic community has rallied behind this important theatre festival. They've donated and raised enough to keep the festival going. Now it's time for audiences to support the festival by getting out to see their impressive lineup of juried plays.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Call for submissions: 2012 New Ideas Festival

The New Ideas Festival 2012
March 14 - 31, 2012
Call For Script Submissions and Proposals

New Ideas Festival (NIF)
invites playwrights to submit completed scripts or proposals for NIF 2012, which will be held from March 14 - 31, 2012. NIF is a juried three-week festival produced by Toronto’s Alumnae Theatre. All scripts are read blind by two to three readers as part of the selection process. Completed scripts chosen for the festival will receive a full production with six performances. Scripts in very early development may be selected for a staged reading.

NIF offers playwrights an opportunity to collaborate with other theatre artists. As NIF is primarily focused on script development, playwrights playwrights do not act in or direct their own scripts. Instead, they are encouraged to participate actively in the whole production process, from choosing a director and cast to attending rehearsals and revising their work as it comes off the page. NIF also offers dramaturgical support to playwrights who request it, free rehearsal and production space, technical support, access to Alumnae Theatre’s costume and props collections, publicity, and sold-out houses.

TIFF 2011's City to City, Vanguard and TIFF Kids programs

Buenos Aires Takes Centre Stage In Festival’s City To City Programming

Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival® proudly welcomes back its City to City programme for the third consecutive year with today’s announcement of the 10 feature-length films encompassing the 2011 lineup. Earlier this year, Cameron Bailey, Co-Director of the Festival, confirmed that the 2011 spotlight would shine on Buenos Aires and introduce audiences to a newly inspired generation of Argentine filmmakers. The City to City series is an exploration of the urban experience, highlighting the best in emerging cinematic talent in a particular locale.

“We found an impressive new generation of filmmakers in Buenos Aires and a thriving film culture," said Cameron Bailey. "We can't wait to present these films to the world's film critics and distributors, and especially to our audience."

TIFF announces documentary programming


Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival® proudly presents an exciting lineup of high-profile documentaries as Werner Herzog explores a triple homicide case in Texas in Into the Abyss; Morgan Spurlock follows fans to San Diego's Comic-Con in Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope; Jessica Yu delivers a wake-up call about the world's water supply in Last Call at the Oasis; and Nick Broomfield visits Wasilla, Alaska in his search for the "real" Sarah Palin in Sarah Palin – You Betcha!

“I'm thrilled at the large number of veteran filmmakers who have brought us new works this year,” said Thom Powers, TIFF‟s lead programmer for documentaries. “The line-up contains a wide range of memorable characters – crusaders, convicts, artists, athletes, nude dancers, comic book fans, dog lovers and more. Not to mention the epic 15-hour Story of Film. These documentaries will have audiences discussing and debating for months to come.”

TIFF's 2011 Midnight Madness program announced

When The Clock Strikes Twelve Midnight Madness Delivers Wild Cinematic Thrills

Toronto – The Midnight Madness programme walks on the cinematic wild side at the Toronto International Film Festival® with a riveting roundup of supernatural slayers, crossbow killers, corpse smugglers and a re-imagined Bonnie and Clyde for the 21st century. Programmed by Colin Geddes, the international lineup features nine world premieres and is one of the most highly-anticipated announcements on the radar of genre geeks around the world.

“Ravenous cinephiles will devour the roster of chillers, action thrillers and pitch-black comedies that fill this year’s slate,” said Colin Geddes, TIFF Programmer. “Martial arts assassins, cops and robbers, escaped lunatics and vampire ballerinas will take over Ryerson Theatre every night at midnight, and deliver the shocking and rocking experience that our loyal audience flocks to take part in, helping make these screenings so memorable.”